Gobius xanthocephalus
   Heymer & Zander, 1992

Common names: English: Yellow-headed goby
German: Gelbkopf-Grundel

Common synonym:
Gobius auratus
Risso 1810.

Length: 8 - 10 cm.

Head yellow. Body bright grey with fine red-brown points in longitudinal rows. Similar to G. fallax. Dark spot at the upper end of the base of the pectoral fin. Night colouration: large dark and light spots on body, head partly yellow.

Pelvic disc deeply emarginated. Similar to G. fallax Praedorsal area and nape scaled.
47 (44-50) scales in lateral series.
Fins: D1 VI; D2 I+14-15 (14-16); A I+14; P 19-20 (18-20).

Carnivorous; small invertebrates, mysids.

No informations.

5 - 35 m. Rocky shores. Common in southern France, otherwise rare.

Gobius xanthocephalus
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©
South-western France, Banyuls, 8 m depth, September 1994


Species list
General info


Mediterranean: soutehrn France, northern Italy (Herler et al., 2005), Baleares (Patzner, unpublished); Black Sea (Vasilyeva and Bogorodskii, 2004); eastern Atlantic.




Literature on Gobius xanthocephalus

Herler J., R.A. Patzner & C. Sturmbauer, 2005: A preliminary revision of the Gobius auratus species complex with redescription of Gobius auratus Risso, 1810. J. Nat. Hist. 39: 1043-1075.

Heymer A. & C.D. Zander, 1992: Le statut de Gobius auratus Risso, 1810 et description de Gobius xanthocephalus n. sp. de la Mediterranee (Teleostei, Gobiidae). Zool. Jb. Syst. 119: 291-314.

Heymer A. & C.D. Zander, 1994: La discrimination phenotypisque, meristique et eco-ethologique entr Gobius auratus Risso, 1810 et Gobius xanthocephalus Heymer et Zander, 1992 (Teleostei, Gobiidae). Rev. fr. Aquariol. 20: 81-92.

Kovacic M. & Patzner R.A., 2011: North-Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Gobies. In: The Biology of Gobies. (Eds: Patzner R.A. et al.) Science Publishers: 177-206.

Louisy P., 2002: Meeresfische, Westeuropa, Mittelmeer. Ulmer, Stuttgart.

Monteiro J., R. Borges, J. Robalo, V.C. Almada, S. Henriques, S. and E.J. Goncalves, 2008: Larval development of Gobius xanthocephalus with genetic validation of larval identification. J. Fish Biology 73: 123-138.

Patzner R.A. & H. Moosleitner, 1997: Die Grundeln des Mittelmeeres. Teil 2. Große Grundeln des Hartbodens 2. Das Aquarium 336: 32-36.

Vasil'eva E.D. & S.V. Bogorodskii, 2004: Two new species of gobies (Gobiidae) in the ichthyofauna of the Black Sea. J. Ichthyol. 44: 599-606.

Zander C. D., 1996: The distribution and feeding ecology of small-size epibenthic fish in the coastal Mediterranean Sea. In: Biology and ecology of shallow coastal waters (ed. by T. Eleftheriou et al.). pp 369-376. Olsen & Olsen, Fredensborg, DK.

Zander C.D. & A. Heymer, 1992: Feeding habits of Gobius auratus and other benthic small-sized fish fromthe french Mediterranean coast under regard of some alternating parameters. Zool. Anz. 228: 220-228.


Photographs of Gobius xanthocephalus

Gobius xanthocephalus
South-western France, Banyuls, 8 m depth, September 1994, during night
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©
Gobius xanthocephalus
South-western France, Banyuls, 8 m depth, September 1994
Photograph: Robert A. Patzner ©
Gobius xanthocephalus
Eastern Black Sea
Photograph: Sergej Bogorodsky ©




Drawings of Gobius xanthocephalus

Drawing from Miller (1986) as G. auratus
Drawing from Vasil'eva & Bogorodskii (2004)
Black Sea
Pelvic disk, male; Drawing from Herler et al., 2005
Drawing from Miller (1986) as G. auratus
Copyright © 2016 - Robert A. Patzner, Department of Ecology and Evolution, Univ. Salzburg, Austria.
State: 2016-04-17
E-mail: robert.patzner@sbg.ac.at